Tag Archives: Fire engineering

DCC not Delta #EpicFail : Wall Street falsehoods and a world class debt

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Tue, 14 Feb 2017 at 9:16 a.m.

Readers 

We are at an interesting time in our local history. Your correspondent like hundreds of others was busy cleaning up yesterday, after what NIWA described as a fairly standard thunderstorm where just 13.6mm of rain fell. 

Also like hundreds of others no doubt, the question in the mind of your correspondent as he dutifully mopped, was : What is the next public asset to be exposed as poorly run, badly maintained and starved of funds ? 

Never before have the executive few lied so comprehensively about the true state of so much degraded public asset. Never before has so much public asset been destroyed by the actions of those few, as Winston might have said. 

Economists your correspondent is familiar with would call this the “tragedy of the commons”. We await the “macro-prudential” responses from Central Government. With the stupefying level of underfunding for DCC drainage and other underground services identified by the Auditor-General, coupled with Aurora Energy’s $1B deferred maintenance and capital work, plus the existing DCC debt, there is around $3B that will need to be extracted from ratepayers and power consumers over the next 30 years (see the Dunedin City Council Infrastructure Strategy). Dunedin has achieved its dream as a world leading small city – of debt per ratepayer. Dunedin will be broke beyond comprehension with the policy of 3% annual rises. The 3% limit is a mirage. Rate rises will be much, much more. Not this year, but quite possibly before the next election; if this council does not address the looming crisis there is the increasing possibility of the removal of the council and appointment of a commissioner. 

It seems that every week brings some fresh disaster or new development that the DCC attempts to cover up. 

Yesterday was a small but telling episode. David Loughrey of the Otago Daily Times kindly confirmed what your correspondent mentioned some months ago, that the DCC had terminated the services of Logic FM because the company would not look the other way while the DCC wilfully failed to fix hundreds of obvious fire rating defects at two of their major assets. 

Mr Kevin Taylor wrote that the council [fired] Logic because the company had been “interpreting code compliance…..beyond that required by the law”. Logic publicly scoffed at this saying – correctly – that the code is “relatively black and white”. 

What actually happened is that as well as the uncompleted fire penetrations, there is a case of simple DCC incompetence, which was only hinted at by infrastructure networks general manager Ruth Stokes in the ODT article. Here are the facts : The Wall Street mall required daily inspections of certain of its building safety systems. The DCC did not want to pay outside consultants to do this work. Fair enough, said Logic, we will train your staff to inspect the systems and they will then sign off a daily inspection sheet, which Logic as the IQP (Independent Qualified Person) need to sight every month. 

wall-street-mall-interior-teamarchitects-co-nz[teamarchitects.co.nz]wall-street-mall-logo-1wall-street-mall-exterior-wallstreetmall-nz-1

Month after month, the monthly reports could not be signed off because no one had completed the daily sign-off sheets. There were offers of more training to the apparently mule-like staff responsible but City Property could not be bothered to do it properly —and thought they could get away with not doing these daily inspections by appointing another more compliant IQP in-house and seeking cover with a further fire report by Beca. 

It is very relevant that after sacking Logic FM, and commissioning the report from Beca, DCC refused to provide a copy of the Beca report to Logic. Logic had asked repeatedly for the report to see what the alleged areas of “over compliance” were. 

It is ‘madeira cake to margarine sandwiches’ that there were no areas of over compliance, and but for Elizabeth Kerr’s LGOIMA request and latterly, the ODT, City Property may well have gotten away with inaccuracies! 

As it is, your correspondent sees only static for Mr Taylor in the DCC crystal ball. He is merely the latest in a line of unlamented DCC property managers, including Robert “Hydraulic” Clark, and Dave McKenzie.

Ruth Stokes also needs to very careful about stepping into this mess – and dissembling to protect Mr Taylor. Stating that “things could have gone a bit better, but they’ve all been addressed” does not fool anyone. Mr Taylor may have have fantasised to Ms Stokes that “all” the fire rating faults were fixed but remember your correspondent advised there were hundreds of faults, not just a few faults in one single wall as has been pretended. There is no way all the faults have been fixed. 

This is what Richard Healey would describe as the Delta dishonest reduction defence…. no, not a 1000 dangerous poles without red tags, but perhaps there are just a few…. and now we learn on that fiasco, that the ‘new’ Delta plan, unannounced to the region’s mayors, is that they can be magically restored to full strength by yet another re-classification.

Chief executive Sue Bidrose started her tenure with a promise of greater transparency and openness (read “honesty”) that was sorely needed. There was some early progress, but the transparency project appears a priority no more.

With the financial storm clouds assembling over the DCC that the chief executive cannot fail to be aware of, some honesty about the actual costs the DCC faces over the next decade is needed. It ranges from the small – just how much will it take to fix Wall Street mall to the $1B existential Aurora problem. The CEO and her staff have been invisible on this critical issue, instead producing reports of risible fantasy such as last year’s effort that valued Delta at over $50M, and Aurora at over $200M. Facing up to an austere decade is the only way that Dr Bidrose and Councillors will avoid having their careers and reputations destroyed by the appointment of a commissioner. 

[ends]

Council Documents:
DCC Infrastructure Strategy
DCC Long Term Plan 2015/16 – 2024/25
Audit Opinion – Independent auditor’s report on Dunedin City Council’s 2015-25 Long‑Term Plan. Author: Ian Lothian, Audit New Zealand on behalf of the Auditor‑General, Dunedin NZ.

ODT Stories:
14.2.17 Councils, Aurora poles apart on ‘removing risk’ definition
13.2.17 Without warrants for years
11.2.17 Aurora affected by pole, staff shortages
8.2.17 Action by Delta decried
29.12.16 Director for $30m pole project
2.12.16 Resignation blow to pole work

Related Posts and Comments:
22.1.17 DCC LGOIMA Response : Wall Street Mall and Town Hall Complex
30.11.16 Delta #EpicPowerFail 7 : Kyle Cameron —The Money or the Bag?

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *aurora*, *grady*, *wall street mall*, *richard healey*, *steve thompson*, *dchl*, *epicfail*, *epicpowerfail* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images by Parker Warburton Team Architects

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DCC LGOIMA Response : Wall Street Mall and Town Hall Complex

Email correspondence.

From: DCC Governance Support
Sent: Friday, 20 January 2017 8:48 a.m.
To: Elizabeth Kerr
Subject: Official information response 280070 Council Buildings WOF

Dear Ms Kerr,

Official information request for information about COUNCIL BUILDINGS WOF

I refer to your official information request dated 28-November-2016 for the following information. Our response to each question is in red font [italics at this website -Eds]:

1. Does the council-owned Wall Street Mall (211 George St, Dunedin) have a current building warrant of fitness, and if not why not?

The Wall Street Mall at 211 George Street does not have a building warrant of fitness. The current status of the Wall Street Mall building warrant of fitness is that a Letter in Lieu was issued for the Specified Systems 15.3, 15.4, 15.5 because a full 12 months’ worth of daily inspections had not been completed. We can confirm that since July, 2015, these daily checks have been in place and this will not be an issue for subsequent warrants of fitness.

Please note that where a Letter in Lieu is issued this means the Independent Qualified Person (IQP) confirms that the systems in the building are working as they should and are compliant.

2. Since the construction of Wall Street Mall was completed in what years has it had a current building warrant of fitness issued, and if not why not?

Mar 2012 – Outstanding form 12A for Specified System 6 (Riser Mains).
Mar 2013 – Letter in lieu issued for Specified System 6 (Riser Mains).
Nov 2013 – Building Warrant of Fitness Received.
Sep 2015 – Letter in lieu issued for 2014/15 & 2015/16 compliance year for Specified System 15/3.
Regarding the reasons for this, please refer to the comments of the Manager, City Property below.

3. Does the council-owned Dunedin Town Hall complex, including Glenroy Theatre, Metro Cinema, and Municipal Chambers, have a current building warrant of fitness(s), and if not why not?
Since the major Dunedin Town Hall Redevelopment Project was completed (including Glenroy Theatre, Metro Cinema, and Municipal Chambers) in what years has it had a current building warrant of fitness(s) issued, and if not why not?.

There is no building warrant of fitness in place for these premises. Instead the Dunedin Town Hall complex, including the Municipal Chambers, Dunedin Centre and the Metro Theatre, have a Certificate of Public Use in place. This means the buildings are safe to use.

These buildings do not have a current Building Warrant of Fitness as, at time of writing, no current Code of Compliance has been issued following the completion of the redevelopment work as there were some building elements requiring attention relating to fire engineering. These elements have been completed and the documentation submitted to DCC Building Compliance for Final Inspection and issue of the Code Compliance. Once the Code Compliance Certificate has been issued there will be nothing to prevent the issue of a warrant of fitness at the next inspection.

If you wish to discuss this information with us, please feel free to contact Property Manager Kevin Taylor on 03 477 4000. Mr Taylor has prepared the following report for the chief executive. This is provided for your information:

The DCC Property department has previously engaged an outside contractor to administer and manage the BWOF compliance on DCC properties, in particular the Wall St Mall. In early 2015, the Building Compliance aspect was sold to Logic Project Management Consultants and a new company called Logic FM was formed and took over the majority DCC BWOF administration.

Our experience as we undertake building audits is that previous advice may have been too lax or liberal in assessing the building’s compliance with particular codes, specifically around fire protection and fire cells. We have also found that the inspections that were contracted to have been undertaken were not fulfilled, leaving gaps in the compliance processes. Thus the BWOF could not be issued by deadline or due dates.

Subsequently, it has been our experience that Logic FM has been interpreting code compliance components beyond that required by the law and schedules to the Acts governing the specified systems. Thus we have experienced a number of “notice to fix” instructions issued which are in error.

To satisfy ourselves that the BWOF is being managed and administered as it should be, DCC Property has engaged independent experts, especially structural and fire engineers, to review the building’s specified systems and as-built safety components. These independent audits have been completed and the required reports and Letters in Lieu issued to enable the DCC Building Authority to issue the BWOF.

The BWOF owners inspections have been brought in-house and are undertaken by the property team’s asset management staff. IQP inspections continue with the specific trades as required.

Yours sincerely

Governance Support Officer
Dunedin City Council Continue reading

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Standard Building, 201 Princes Street —then and today

Standard Fire and Marine Insurance Company of New Zealand Building (1875)
Architect: Mason and Wales

Standard Building IMG_20150829_130631 (7)standard-building-img_20150829_130847-3

Standard Building IMG_20150829_130847 (1b)Standard Buildiing IMG_20150829_130418 (7a)

█ Ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/throughjo/staircasing/

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Aug 2015
Surprises in old buildings
By Craig Borley
The doors to some of Dunedin’s historic buildings will be opened to the public today as the city’s heritage festival continues. The Dunedin Heritage Festival began yesterday with the “Dunedin 1865: A City Rises” photographic exhibition in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. The festival finishes tomorrow. A major draw is the tours today and tomorrow of 64 historic buildings, which will be raising their customary barriers to the public […] the festival would also include a children’s heritage trail at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, a walking trail following Dunedin’s original shoreline and a special service in First Church.
Read more

### ODT Online Tue, 2 Jun 2015
‘Absolutely incredible’ revamp of heritage building
By John Gibb
An “absolutely incredible” conservation and adaptive reuse project is nearing completion in Dunedin. This work on the Standard Building in Princes St, including extensive earthquake strengthening [and restoration of the Italian-style facade] has been undertaken as momentum grows to further revitalise the Exchange area, and a wave of adaptive reuse work continues to transform the nearby warehouse precinct. […] The project also includes the Stanton Building, situated behind the Standard Building, and backing on to the council’s Dowling St car park. A crucial – and previously largely hidden – feature of the redevelopment is an innovative, light-filled multilevel internal atrium, making extensive use of glass, which will link the two buildings and provide access to the various floors.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
23.8.15 1865 Dunedin —Heritage Festival 2015 ‘The Open City’ Sat 29 August
23.8.15 1865 Dunedin —Heritage Festival 2015 Shoreline Trail launch
17.3.12 Call for photographs or building plans – Standard Building….
24.10.11 Former Standard Insurance building, 201 Princes St, Dunedin

Post and 4 smartphone images by Elizabeth Kerr

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Stadium roof saga continues: no fireworks since lasers are “the next generation beyond fireworks”

### ODT Online Sat, 3 Jul 2010
Video: Stadium roof material fire test
By David Loughrey
Housed as it is on the Otago harbour waterfront, the Forsyth Barr Stadium’s roof may seem threatened more by winds, flurries of snow and the odd hail storm than by the ravages of fire. But the safety of the ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) covering in the event of a fire has continued to exercise the minds of the project’s opponents.
Read more + Video

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### ODT Online Sat, 3 Jul 2010
Stadium passes fire safety inspection
By David Loughrey
The Forsyth Barr Stadium has been given a pass mark and building consent for its fire safety. Dunedin City Council chief building control officer Neil McLeod said a peer-reviewed fire design for the stadium had been completed as part of between 40 and 50 building consents issued so far for the stadium.
Read more

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

2 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Project management, Stadiums